UMKC Innovation Center partners with the university and the community to spark and sustain entrepreneurial efforts within our region and across the country.

KCSourceLink connects KC entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time.

MOSourceLink connects Missouri entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time.

Whiteboard2Boardroom connects entrepreneurs and businesses to technologies available for licensing.

Digital Sandbox KC provides early-stage proof-of-concept support for digital products.

Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center provides technical assistance to startup and existing businesses.

ScaleUP! Kansas City helps businesses with revenues around $200K scale toward their first $1 million.

Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers helps local businesses obtain government contracts.

KCInvestED helps investors learn more about investing in KC startups.

SourceLink® helps communities nationwide build vibrant and vital entrepreneurial ecosystems.
UMKC Innovation Center
UMKC Innovation Center

Helping Women Achieve Financial Stability

Each year, the Women's Employment Network (WEN) works with approximately 500 underserved women in Kansas City, 75 percent of whom live below the federal poverty level and 60 percent are minority.  Its goal: offer unique programs to help women discover their own abilities, gain employment and build a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.

With a new partnership with the Greater Kansas City LISC, the regional chapter of the nation’s largest community development organization, WEN has even more power to add to its programs.

Meet the Newest Financial Opportunity Center

Last month, the Greater Kansas City LISC selected WEN as its second Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) in Kansas City. That puts WEN on the map with a national network of more than 70 FOCs in 30 cities that help families and individuals achieve economic stability.

As a trusted community development leader, LISC works with local stakeholders to select and fund FOC partnerships. The proven, outcomes-based model complements and enhances the career training, financial coaching and microloan programs that WEN currently provides its clients.

With these resources, WEN can provide further financial education and coaching services to its clients using the LISC FOC model, which focuses on services across three areas:

  • employment placement and career improvement
  • financial education and coaching
  • public benefits access

These core services are integrated, bundled and provided to clients in a comprehensive approach to income and wealth building. They are designed to help clients increase their net income, credit scores, long-term job retention and net worth over time.

From Heartbreak to Hope

National data show that the LISC model changes lives. It has earned a track record as a proven program helping individuals move away from living paycheck to paycheck to achieving real economic stability. In 2012, for example, of the 18,000 individuals who received the core bundled services, 4,800 people got jobs and 7,800 established a budget. 

More than 75 percent of the clients who have subsequent meetings with their financial coach achieve at least one key financial outcome:

  • 4,300 improved their net income
  • 2,700 improved their credit score
  • 2,800 improved their net worth

Take the Next Steps toward Financial Security

WEN will offer these services at its downtown location at 920 Main St., Kansas City, Mo., and at various partner locations including the Blue Hills Business Center at 5008 Prospect, which is located in a LISC NeighborhoodsNOW community.

Check out these upcoming classes in December and be sure to visit our calendar to find more.

12/18 Microloan Informational Seminar
12/19 Credit as an Asset: Credit Builders Alliance One-Day Workshop

Bank of America was the lead funder helping LISC bring the FOC model to Kansas City.  LISC’s first FOC - the Prosperity Center at Rockhurst University - opened in June 2013 at 5151 Troost Ave.; it is a collaborative partnership between Catholic Charities Kansas City-St. Joseph, Kansas City Full Employment Council, Greater Kansas City LISC, Rockhurst University, and United Way of Greater Kansas City. Greater Kansas City LISC anticipates announcing a third FOC partnership by the end of 2014.

More about the Women’s Employment Network

WEN specializes in turning dreams into reality, heartbreak into hope, despair into determination. It’s is a nonprofit organization that offers job-search training, financial coaching and professional case management. WEN also provides a shoulder to lean on, day care advice, professional wardrobes, transportation assistance and fresh starts.

WEN is also a proud partner of the OneKC for Women alliance with the Women’s Business Center and Women’s Capital Connection. By working together as OneKC for Women, these partner organizations are able to better achieve a common goal:  empowering women to achieve financial independence.

OneKC for Women is where women can find the resources, opportunities and connections needed to advance employment opportunities, start a business, grow a business or receive guidance and support in overcoming barriers to success.

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